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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Jul 22, 2011 1:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: improv style, jazz vs. classical, drama

"Now, thinking a little more deeply, I wonder if this is a difference in stylistic perception between my ears and other listeners. From the very nice post about "under the radar" guitarists and other comments about people's listening, I'd guess that modern jazz is the genre many people listen to most outside the GD?"

I doubt it. My assumption would be that for most GD fans, rock and roll is still the number one genre outside of GD.

"One of the reasons I've never been drawn into jazz too much is that a lot of jazz has this kind of "smoothness" to my ears where it proceeds for long stretches of time with the same style and feel to the music, there aren't necessarily a lot of dramatic events in the music."

One of the reasons that I've never been drawn to classical music is that almost everything is predetermined and lacking in improvisation. Generally speaking, I can see the points you make about the link between GD and classical music, but I think the links to jazz and blues are far more pronounced and influential.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Jul 22, 2011 1:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: improv style, jazz vs. classical, drama

Actually, improvisation was an integral part of classical music prior to the 20th century - the way modernity has turned classical music into a specimen in a jar rather than the living, breathing art it used to be is a pet peeve of mine.

Bach was famous for his improvisatory skills, as were Mozart, Beethoven, and Liszt. When Mozart's piano concertos were first performed, with W.A. Mozart himself on keys, the orchestral parts were pre-written but Wolfgang would improvise his own part - if there are any bootleg recordings I wish we had, it would be the recordings of Mozart playing his own concertos, I cannot even imagine.

Opera singers in the 19th century would always add improvisations to their arias, sometimes so much that the composer would be irritated that nothing was left of the original.

Any self-respecting piano virtuoso of the 19th century was expected to be able to improvise up a storm and to prove it was real improv by doing it on a theme suggested by the audience. Of course there were scandals when a confederate would be planted and the pianist would play something they cad precomposed in secret!